The first half of the day was dandy: my fabulous gay friend (not my gay husband or gay mistress), my deceptively innocent friend and I laid out by the volleyball courts and watched half naked sweaty men roll in the sand while we soaked up some sun. And that was lovely. Afterwards, as practice for traveling abroad, I took a siesta, spent some time with the boy when he got home from teaching, got pretty.
I went for a girls night organized by someone who I suspect is very much me on 90% of levels. We went for hibachi, which was good. A girl there just got engaged, which is cute, but my mind automatically shuts off if the story includes the words “candles,” “beach” or “Mexico.” So I continued to look in her general direction, but right over her head at the Playoffs game. [can you believe the Sixers ebbed out another close win?!?]
After hibachi we went to Capogiro, which is in my top 5 favorite places in the city. Flavor selection was at an all time high: cucumber, thai iced tea, champagne mango, dark and stormy, rosemary honey goat milk, single malt scotch, sea salt, AND orange and cardamom?? Half the ladies had to leave and the other hung out on the street corner watching a couple across the street play an accordion and a ukulele.
[[THIS IS WHERE THE NORMAL EVENING ENDED.]]
We crossed the street to hear better, and a man in a top hat, vest and old fashioned goggles herded us to the upstairs of a used book store for “the show.” Now, not knowing what kind of show this is, minds went reeling. Maybe it’s a Vanilla Sky-esque masked swingers club. Or maybe it’s storytelling or a sacrificial hog offering. There were a couple general misfits in folding chairs, but a stage with some familiar instruments likely ruled out anything with nudity. Damn.
Then a very creepy man in a purple and yellow swirled overcoat with not a hair on his head offered us absinthe and heroin. We took the absinthe, and got silly in our seats listening to the accordion and ukulele. By the end of their set, four white college girls and eight members of the societal fringe engaged in an enthusiastic sing-a-long rendition of Edith Pilaf’s “La Vie en Rose,” enhanced by the inability of everyone to clap to a beat.
This is where we bounced.
Outside, I handed off one friend to a gentleman waiting and two other girls and I headed to the
subway so I could go to the Drexel Sierra Club Drinks Day, which is just a way of saying that the head hippies are having a party. I was heckled the entire three blocks from 40th St. Station to my friends place. A fine young gentleman and his clique told me I was a turkey, which I looked up this morning on urbandictionary. Neither option is flattering but I think he meant this definition:
turkey (noun): The opposite of virgin for a girl, because they have "received a stuffing"
and probably not these definitions:
(noun) a loser; an uncoordinated, inept, clumsy fool
(noun) a tool; a person who is not in with current culture and slang or is just generally uncool.
This slang usage of the word "turkey" was mostly used during the late 60's and 70's by urban-dwelling blacks.
(noun) a country that's incredibly fun to be in because it's not quite European, but not quite Asian either.
So whatever. I get there. I have a Lionshead, sing a little happy birthday to our gracious host. Then shots ring out, which shots are wont to do in West Philadelphia. Within five minutes of my arrival, there are helicopters with search lights scanning the area and the sirens of cop cars are so loud, I can’t hear the person next to me. Yet beer pong continues.
Looking through the rickety fence that encloses the tiny backyard, that gives a false sense of security, we see hundreds of people pour into the streets. Four kids sprint past. The man next door leans his head out the window and tells us that someone has been shot. People yell. Glass shatters. Car horns are going off everywhere.
We watch from the roof as cop cars try to herd people away. Sunshiny Hippy and I make the poor decision to go outside to see what’s going on. [I know as soon as the boy reads this, I will get a talkin to] So after asking “hey, what’s going on?” and getting “Imma tryna get cho numba is whats goin on” as an answer, a classy broad of perhaps nineteen tells me what happened.
(Translated) Two high school kids got in a fight, one pulled out a piece and fatally shot the other, and then the cops came and beat people up, thusly prompting the crowds.
Plans for walking back with a couple of the other ladies and risking harassment, kidnapping, rape, gun wounds, knife wounds, etc. were quickly reevaluated. I could wait for someone to sober, but that would take time and really, game over, I just want to go back to my white bread dorm room and finish off the Yuengling in my fridge and watch “Tough Love.”
The boy, bless his soul, was quite concerned and came and picked me up. Traffic, of course, wasn’t moving, but he persisted while I perspired. Meanwhile, the party people were doing “shots for shots,” which means they are significantly more badass than me. I just talk a good game.
When back to my comfortable existence, I curled up on the boy’s bed, ate a pb+j with gourmet blueberry jelly and watched as Aviola took the hot seat because she didn’t take the “Cute or Crazy” game show well.
Also, during this debacle I was utilizing the popular micro-publishing site, Twitter. Within ten seconds of posting that shots were fired, I got four texts asking me if I was okay. This tells me that if I happened to be kidnapped and I could make one phone call, I’m texting Twitter.